I find there are two camps. Minimalism and colour. Clean, white interiors versus patterned, layered spaces full of texture. But does it have to be so? Which camp are you in? Both? Me too.

A white room doesn’t necessarily make for clinical soulless feel. I touched on this in a previous post.


A Bit Of History

In fact Vermeer, painting in 17th Century Holland, shows us white walls abounding. Possibly to serve as a neutral backdrop for all those silks, leather, damasks and maps arriving from the East in Northern Europe by the shipload. Or possibly because pure, lead white was actually the most difficult colour to recreate for interiors. Therefore white’s use in Vermeer’s interiors is, in fact a reference to the privileged circles he moved in.

Or perhaps, the Dutch canal house was painted white inside and had huge, curtain-less windows just to allow as much light in as possible. Even now, on a recent-ish trip to Amsterdam, I can say with utter conviction that the Dutch are still not into any window dressing of any description. Just the opposite in fact. Front doors wide open for nosey interiors types like me, to ‘accidentally’ slow my pace and have good snoop whilst pretending to look at the map. Thanks guys! I hadn’t realised how steep your hallway stairs were.

But what if there was a place that adopted both genres of decorating? White, bright and monochrome alongside patterned, colourful and cosy. Hmmmmm in-ter-es-ting. On my wanderings, and in between museum visits, I came across a house (actually, a museum) which perfectly shows how both can be achieved.

NB all photos are very much snaps with the phone, so allow for images that are off-centre, awkward in composition, taken through glass and whatever else looks weird. Blame the camera.